Real Madrid offer Henry record weekly pay

The Spanish giants are willing to pay Henry double “Galactico” wages to ensure if he leaves London it will be for them and not Barcelona. The offer would see Henry dwarfing David Beckham and Ronaldinho in the pay stakes and pocketing an astonishing ‘154 000 a week. Arsenal are preparing to offer him ‘110 000 weekly in a bid to fight off the giants wanting to sign him. Madrid accept that the Frenchman will not make a decision on his future until the end of the season. But they have made it known to him that he will become the world’s highest paid player if he joins them in the summer. Sources in Spain say super-agent Zoran Vekic, who is very close to Real Madrid president Fernando Martin, has met Henry’s agent Jerome Anderson. Anderson made it clear to Vekic that Henry would not make a decision about his future until the middle of next month. But Anderson was left in no doubt that a three-year contract worth ‘8 million a year was on the table for the Frenchman. Shearer earmarked for England job Alan Shearer has been earmarked as a potential England manager and will be fast-tracked on to the international scene. The FA have identified Shearer as a future England boss and want him to become involved in the international set-up as soon as he is ready. Shearer has insisted he wants to take at least a year off after hanging up his boots with Newcastle and will not be rushed into a coaching or managerial return. But he will complete his Uefa coaching badges by the end of the year and he knows there is a place on the Newcastle staff being held open or him. Gerrard takes Mourinho head-on Steven Gerrard has told Jose Mourinho to stop whingeing and start showing Liverpool some respect. Chelsea manager Mourinho claimed the best team lost when Liverpool beat his side 2-1 in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final. But Kop skipper Gerrard said: “Maybe it’s about time that Mourinho started giving Liverpool the respect we deserve.” Chelsea were outplayed for much of the match and Mourinho got his tactics all wrong. But he still claimed the Blues were the better side and Liverpool would never win the title. He taunted the Anfield club by wishing them well in the “Champions League qualifiers”, a dig at the fact they will only finish third in the Premiership. Makelele blasts Ferguson Claude Makelele has delivered a stunning attack on Sir Alex Ferguson insisting: “Get used to coming second”. And, in the most devastating attack ever by a Premiership star on the legendary United boss, the tough-tackling Chelsea midfielder brands Ferguson as “ridiculous” and a “loser”. He also claims Fergie’s mind games have backfired spectacularly and insists the only way for United reach Chelsea class is to get Jose Mourinho as manager. Makelele said: “I saw what Ferguson was saying before we won at Bolton and I was laughing. I thought the guy was really funny. Maybe even ridiculous. “He was saying United would win against Sunderland and then we would lose at Bolton. What can I say? You all know what happened.” New challenge for Newcastle Glenn Roeder has warned Newcastle United that they will need to break the bank to replace Geordie legend Alan Shearer. And the Toon caretaker-boss will tell chairman Freddy Shepherd that the next manager will probably need to buy two top strikers to fill the huge void created by the former England skipper’s retirement. Last summer Newcastle lashed out ’27 million to bring Michael Owen and Albert Luque to Tyneside and Roeder insists that Shepherd will again have to dig deep if the Magpies are to make a realistic Champions League push next term. Roeder said: “If you want to challenge at the top end of the table year in year out, you need a bigger squad of players than we’ve got.” Villa boss on the brink The decline and fall of Aston Villa looks certain to claim David O’Leary as its most high-profile victim. The revelation that Villa are scouring the market for potential new managers, with Martin O’Neill at the top of their wish list, suggests that after three years the 47-year-old Irishman’s Villa reign will soon come to an end. There had been whispers that Villa’s 3-1 derby victory over arch-rivals Birmingham might gain O’Leary a reprieve. But the news that the search for a new boss has already started suggests Villa chairman Doug Ellis is poised to wield the managerial axe again and live up to his nickname of Deadly. Somersaults here to stay Lomana LuaLua hasn’t ruled out doing again his somersault celebration again, despite making his ankle injury worse the last time he did it. The striker landed awkwardly while enjoying his goal against Arsenal last week and was forced to sit out Pompey’s loss to Charlton as a result. But after returning to the side in the 2-1 win over Sunderland last Sunday, LuaLua has revealed he is playing through the pain barrier in a bid to help the South Coast side avoid relegation. He said: “I have been criticised for doing the somersault and in hindsight it only aggravated the problem further. People have asked if I’ll ever do it in the same way again ‘ my answer is you never say never.” Give Beckham the sack West Brom manager Bryan Robson does not think David Beckham should captain England at the World Cup finals. Robson, who is a former England captain himself, does not think the Real Madrid star has the right personality to be an on-pitch leader. He would prefer either Chelsea defender John Terry or Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard to be the captain of the national team. Robson said: “As for the England captaincy, David Beckham would not have been my choice. He hasn’t done a bad job and he has matured, but he’s not a natural leader on the pitch. “Steven Gerrard and John Terry are more natural leaders and have the aggression that most managers like in a captain.”

April 2006
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